Leeann Akers

News Director

Ways to Connect


A Morehead police officer is alive after being exposed to an unknown substance, which caused him to overdose Tuesday afternoon.

The officer responded to an injury accident, and was leaving when he realized what was happening and was able to alert another officers on the scene.

MPD Captain Erskin Davis says luckily the officer was trained to know the signs of an overdose. 

  The officer was taken to Saint Claire Healthcare for decontamination and released.


Montgomery County Detention Center

Two Rowan County men have been indicted on charges related to the rape of underage girls.

The grand jury handed down indictments on September 3rd for 24-year-old Jonathan Riley and 20-year-old Skyler Hanna.

According to the indictment, Riley is accused of first degree rape of a minor in March, and first degree rape of a minor under the age of 12 in 2019. He is currently being held in the Rowan County Detention Center on unrelated drug charges.  He was arrested on those charges back in April.

Sarah Nickell

Students and staff at Rowan County Schools will continue to wear masks.

The mask mandate put in place by the Kentucky Department of Education was struck down by lawmakers last week, allowing more local control.

Rowan Superintendent John Maxey says the board voted to wear masks before and statewide mandates were put in place.

110 Stories

September 9, 10, 11, 12

​Written by Sarah Tuft

​Directed by Drew Henderson

We commemorate the 20th anniversary of 9/11 with this powerful, moment-by-moment journey through the events of 9/11 as told by eyewitnesses, survivors and recovery workers.  


Morehead State University

Morehead State University will limit student events and launch a vaccination incentive program for faculty and staff starting next week.

COVID-positive cases continue to climb in the region, and local hospitals are overwhelmed and understaffed.

In a campus update broadcast to employees Wednesday afternoon, MSU President Dr. Jay Morgan said students want to continue to have in-person options for classes.  In order to keep the classrooms open, Morgan says new mitigation strategies will begin after Labor Day.

A judge will consider arguments after attorneys for former residents of the North Fork Mobile Home Park and the City of Morehead attended a motion hour in Rowan Circuit Court Monday.


Rowan County Senior High School

School leaders in Rowan County are not planning to shut the district down at this time. 

As COVID-numbers rise in local school districts, some schools are taking Non-Traditional Instruction days to help mitigate the spread.

Superintendent John Maxey says making sure students and staff are following protocols to help keep the doors open.

Local hospitals are preparing for an additional surge of COVID-positive cases as resources continue to dwindle.

A field hospital was erected in the Saint Claire Healthcare parking lot this weekend, where the Kentucky National Guard and FEMA staff will be assisting with the overflow of patients.

Dr. Thadus Cox is the Medical Director of Specialty Services at SCH.  He says the organization has been struggling with staffing shortages for months. 

Mike Obertacz

Education leaders across the state are asking lawmakers to expand the number of Non-Traditional Instruction days for the school year.

During the 2020-21 school year, districts were allowed unlimited NTI days to accommodate the need for COVID-related quarantines and shutdowns. This year, Schools have only been allotted 10 days.

Rowan County Superintendent John Maxey says additional days missed will have to be made up at the end of the school year.

Sawstone Brewing Company

A Morehead business will be celebrating its two-year anniversary this weekend.

Sawstone Brewing Company’s Anniversary celebration begins Saturday at noon, with food, live music, and the release of two new beers. 

Co-owner Blake Nickell says the brewery opened in August of 2019, but the pandemic hit 7 months later and put everything in jeopardy. 

  The event will begin at noon Saturday with free cupcakes, a commemorative pint glass, and some yet-to-be announced surprises.

Taylor Johnson for The Trailblazer

Morehead State University held its football media day Saturday, two weeks ahead of the season opener with Number 2 James Madison.

The team boasts a huge roster of 99 players with a few extra to spare. 26 seniors returning to the team. Meanwhile 17 juniors, 13 sophomores, and 38 freshman are listed on the online roster. 

Head Coach Rob Tenyer says the maturity of the team means the season looks promising. 

Saint Claire Healthcare

Saint Claire Healthcare in Morehead is seeing an increase in COVID-positive patients that require hospitalization.

Like most of the state, around 11-percent of the patients requiring serious care are fully vaccinated. Currently 25-percent of all inpatients at Saint Claire are COVID-positive. 

Dr. Will Melahn is the Chief Medical Officer at Saint Claire.  He says having that many patients with a single diagnosis is unheard of.

Cassidy Stearman

Morehead State University students returned to the classroom this week.  Students are required to wear masks indoors and the administration is strongly encouraging everyone in the campus community to be vaccinated.

In the College of Science, students who are participating in clinical classes and internships are often facing a higher risk COVID exposure in the field.

Dr. Wayne Miller is the Dean of the College of Science at MSU.  He says those students are subject to a different set of rules than most. 

Even with COVID-19 positive cases on the rise in the county, schools in Rowan County begin in-person learning Thursday.

Students, faculty and staff will be masked inside buildings, a decision approved by the School Board before mandates were put in place by the Governor and the State Board of Education.

Superintendent John Maxey says as of now, districts do not have hybrid-learning options or additional non-traditional instruction days.


St. Claire Healthcare

Hospitals across the Commonwealth are admitting a record number of COVID-positive patients, and the facilities are running out of room.

Healthcare officials in Morehead say they are seeing the most rapid rise in the number of cases since the pandemic began.

Dr. Will Melahn is the Chief Medical Officer at St. Claire Healthcare.  he says the hospital is opening an expanded ICU since the regular ward is full.

Melahn says people working healthcare are worn out, and the best way Kentuckians can help them is to get vaccinated.

Week of August 9, 2021

Aug 11, 2021

Office of the Rowan County Judge Executive

With 37 new positive Covid-19 cases last week, officials in Rowan County are expecting to move into the red zone this week.

The community has a 42-percent vaccination rate, but the Delta Variant has been causing breakthrough cases throughout the region.

Judge Executive Harry Clark says he expects to see an increase, because Rowan is one of just a handful of counties in the region not currently in the red.

Morehead State University

Morehead State University Students will be required to wear masks when they return to campus.

In an email to the campus community Thursday, University officials outlines two levels of protocols. 

In the first, effective immediately, non-vaccinated individuals are required to wear masks in indoor spaces. Level one will be in effect through next Thursday.

MCTC to Require Masks

Aug 5, 2021

Maysville Community and Technical College will require masks inside all campus buildings effective Friday.

Officials say they want to start off the semester with a safe environment in order to keep in-person learning as an option.

Russ Ward is the President and CEO at MCTC.  He says masking in addition to vaccination will help prevent future outbreaks.

  Ward says leaders of the state organization made the decision together.

Rowan County Board of Education

The Rowan County Board of Education passed back-to-school guidance in a special called meeting Wednesday evening.

The District will continue to do screening for symptoms at the door, practice social distancing and sanitizing of hands and surfaces, and require masking in all buildings.  

Superintendent John Maxey says the guidance was created based on the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Centers for Disease Control, Kentucky Department of Public Health and the Kentucky Department of Education.  

In a letter to staff Wednesday morning, officials with St. Claire Healthcare announced that COVID-19 vaccinations will now be required for all staff as a condition of employment.  The mandate will go into effect on Thursday.